Location ad trends: Just 14% of proximity adverts use high-quality signals

Nov 6, 2019 | Ads, Content marketing, Mobile, Search

Just 14% of geo-targeted adverts use high-quality signals as privacy regulations put pressure on location data, according to new research.

The analysis of more than 500 million digital location targeted impressions by location intelligence company Location Sciences, indicates that the introduction of new privacy regulations is putting increasing pressure on location data supply chain.

This means high-quality location data is more endangered than ever, driving an increase in location ad fraud.

Following the introduction of new privacy regulations including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), Location Sciences is warning that high-quality location data is more endangered than ever.

Jason Smith, CBO, Location Sciences, comments: “The Media Rating Council is very clear that IP signals shouldn’t be used for proximity targeting. Arguably hot spots and fixed IPs can be used as a good call on location, but most IP signals are estimates or proxies for the location. The key for brands will be having transparency on these work arounds used by suppliers and a method of evaluating the strengths of these signals.”

Demand for GPS fuelling fraud

As more brands turn their attention to the quality of location data, bad actors are faking GPS signals in the bid stream. New analysis by Location Sciences reveals the three most detected types of fraudulent signals that brands should be aware of:

  • Randomly generated (63%): A random set of GPS signals generated by a computer in any given area
  • Device teleportation (35%): Where the same device ID is spotted in two different places at nearly the same time
  • Hard clustering (10%): Location signals are distributed far too evenly over the area, rather than being clustered around major cities

Mark Slade CEO of Location Sciences adds: “Privacy regulations and operating system updates such as iOS13 are fantastic for consumers – but they have made it increasingly difficult for ad tech to access location data. This leads to more fraudulent signals on the market. Third party verification is a way to gain transparency into the quality of your location data, and to discover the suppliers delivering greater quality signals.”

Download a copy of the research here

About the research

Analysis of 500 million digital location targeted impressions delivered in the UK and US from January to June 2019. Research was conducted using data collected via a tag embedded in digital creative. Data was collected directly from suppliers when the ad is served and measured

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